Ezekiel Elliott Considering Holdout?

Todd Gurley‘s record-setting running back deal affected Le’Veon Bell‘s decision-making in Pittsburgh this year, and it may play a role in how Ezekiel Elliott proceeds in 2019.

The Cowboys’ All-Pro running back has one year remaining on his contract, but with the team having an easy fifth-year option decision coming, Elliott may be in a tough spot. Dallas has a host of extension-eligible players, five of whom — DeMarcus Lawrence, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper and Byron Jones and Jaylon Smith— either a franchise tag candidate or entering a contract year. Elliott having two years of team control left may move him to the back of the re-up queue, despite Dallas brass’ goal of signing him long-term.

An Elliott holdout will be a risk, sources told Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the longer this drags on this offseason. With the Cowboys having no incentive to pay Elliott now, there may be more noise on this front as the offseason unfolds.

While Gurley received his extension with two years remaining on his contract, Elliott is also in the same position Aaron Donald was in 2017. Donald held out and missed the Rams’ first two games en route to defensive player of the year acclaim.

Elliott, 23, is due $3.58MM in 2019. His fifth-year option would come in north of $10MM in 2020. But Gurley’s four-year, $57.5MM deal altered the market. With Elliott winning rushing titles in both of the seasons in which he was a full Cowboys participant, the leverage he will have is removing himself from an offense dependent on his talents.

The Cowboys stand to hold more than $54MM in cap space and have taken care of three Elliott blockers, the most recent coming with Zack Martin‘s guard-record contract in 2018. Considering Elliott’s importance to the team, usage rate and the non-Gurley running backs’ position within the NFL salary landscape, a holdout would certainly make sense to see if the Cowboys would buckle and pay him this year rather than in 2020.

A Lawrence holdout also may be on the horizon, per Hill. Although, this could be expected given that the Cowboys may franchise him again. Lawrence signed his tender immediately last year and attended Cowboys offseason workouts, however.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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27 comments on “Ezekiel Elliott Considering Holdout?

    • crosseyedlemon

      It’s never a good sign when the bloggers understand the possible contract scenarios better than your agent….lol.

  1. Bubba

    The only guarantee is “ Jerra” picking his nose on National TV and his son Steven “ Daddy can I have a team” Jones

  2. 5th year options and franchise tags crush elite players. Especially RBs that only have a limited time of impact in the league. Cowboys should exercise the 5th year option and then franchise Elliot a couple years and then let him walk in FA when he’s 28 and been in the league for 7 years. I don’t blame Elliott for considering a hold out.

    • dugdog83

      Oh he’s holding out, no doubt about it. The Cowboys are dead without him and he knows it, and they know it.

    • Polish Hammer

      Jerry Jones to secretary “get Kareem Hunt’s agent on the phone ASAP”…

  3. TheTruth12

    If we’re being completely honest if he holds out the Cowboys will be lucky to win 5 games. The Cowboys need him more than he needs them. We saw what they were like before him.

    • crosseyedlemon

      The Cowboys won a division title with a very young team so there would appear to be plenty of upside if management can keep the core group together. I think Zeke will be treated fairly by Jerry in due course if he shows some patience and loyalty. If he decides to be a prima donna like Dez then he may end up having the same regrets later.

      • dugdog83

        That was with a HOF TE and an awesome Oline. They have neither anymore. Dak won’t do anything even with Cooper.

        Zeke’s gonna get his.

      • slpdajab55

        I think Zeek makes a huge difference on if they compete for the division or not. However , he can’t do it all and while Dak is decent , I can’t see him winning a Super Bowl. He’s not good enough with out a defense much like Trent Dilfer has. I do think Dak is better than Dilfer but not by a lot.

  4. Guest617

    the league never fined/suspended Elliot for sexually assault in exposing a women’s breast during a st patrick’s day parade

  5. JJB0811

    Dallas has done a great job on loading up on talent. Its the HC I have questions about.

  6. goldenmisfit

    Everyone is forgetting one thing the Cowboys with Al Elliot walked dead in the water before Cooper. All they would need is a serviceable running back with that offense of line that would give the threat of the run which would make play action more affective. But this is all moot because we know how this turns out he holds out and then shows up right before week one.

  7. of9376

    I sincerely like Zeke but I’m torn on this issue. He has tons of miles on the tires and I would be leery of singing him to a big contract. They made a wise decision with Demarco Murray when his time came and to their credit they stood firm on their valuation.

    Zeke May be one of the best in the game but I don’t like the idea of giving out big contacts to RBs.

    • CursedRangers

      Exactly my thoughts as well. We’ve seen this scenario play out with Murray. Zeke’s a great talent but tying up that much money in a running back is a risky proposition.

  8. jorge78

    Once again a crazy business. Because a wacky owner overpays someone all of a sudden this team needs to overpay. A wacky business.

    • crosseyedlemon

      It is wacky but owners really don’t have much choice but to play the game. You can’t tell your fans that you have decided to tank for a few years until the market for players becomes more reasonably priced.

  9. jeb39999

    Zeke has been vastly underpaid for his position and his importance to the success of the cowboys but Gurley money would be foolish at this point. Get him a raise and an extension but jerry needs to leave room for adding other talent as well.

  10. RockHauler

    The Cowboys are gonna be in cap Hell within 3 years. Jerry is always gushing about how great his players are and he’s gonna have to pay them if he wants to keep them. Too many to pay and not enough money to go around.

  11. axisofhonor25

    Elliott you are my keeper in fantasy next year, please do not pull a leveon bell thank you.

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